Winter 2012 – First Week Impressions (Part 1)

This post reviews Rinne no Lagrange, Kill Me Baby, and High School DxD.

Despite the Winter anime season appearing initially weak, it will be another full season for me with about 10 anime total.  Considering I’m retaining 5 shows from the Autumn (Chihayafuru, Future Diary, Guilty Crown, Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam, and Persona 4 the Animation) and I already know I’ll watch Nisemonogatari, that means there are only 4 slots open for pretty much the entire season.

There will be stiff competition for the remaining slots but there doesn’t seem to be any anime that are knockouts or guarantees like in previous seasons so every anime will get a fair chance.  I plan on giving a few anime two episodes each before deciding on my final lineup because I anticipate a traffic jam for the final spot or spots.  I’ll want to give those anime another chance to help differentiate them so I can pick what I think will be the best anime of the season.  Should be interesting to see what shows make the cut before everything is finalized for the season.

Watching:

Kill Me Baby – I had some worries with this anime after those irritating promotional videos, but the episode rectified those wrongs fairly quickly and I watched the anime with an untainted palate.  Kill Me Baby (or Baby, Please Kill Me) is a tame yet wacky comedy about Yasuna, an overactive and friendly school girl, and her quirky, assassin best friend, Sonya.  It’s a set-up that works for a pure comedy like this and the humor was ample paving the way for an entertaining first episode but it did reveal some flaws.  The direction particularly raises some questions.  The adaptation from 4-koma to anime must have been difficult because some scenes were incredibly rough and some segments were integrated so poorly you would be correct to guess the storyboard was literally the manga itself.  The energy and intensity of the anime was below what I predicted (somewhere between exhaustion and hypoglycemic) but it is far from relaxed or apathetic keeping the anime from reaching any unintended lows or lulls.  The moe art style certainly is charming (what else do you expect from JC Staff?) and gives the anime an appropriate feel for this style of jokes and humor but the animation never dazzled besides a shot where Sonya twirled a mop like a bo staff.  The cast gets a plus for their chemistry but they lack individuality.  I get the impression that Yui from K-On!, Mariya from Maria Holic, and whatever polite/awkward/closed eyes character that is your favorite are the main cast (and I guess the character that wasn’t named but shown in the opening can be Suou from Darker than Black).  I’m sure as the anime progresses the characters will differentiate themselves from what I’ve assigned them but how long until they reach that point could become a problem.  But those are all minor issues and as long as the comedy keeps me happy and makes me laugh, I’ll be enjoying this anime.  One thing I’d like to see, though, is the 4-koma style being managed better, mainly smoother transitions and less obvious structure to the jokes.

Undecided:

Rinne no Lagrange – This is about what I expected from Rinne no Lagrange, conventional giant robot fights and ordinary fanservice centered on a high school girl with a hidden power.  Not a daming premise for an anime but I’m hesitant if it’s something I’ll keep for an entire season or two despite me generally enjoying the first episode.  It’s doubtful the feeble story and the stereotypical cast will be enough to sustain the anime long term.  The two features of this anime, the fanservice and the robots, don’t appear to be effective enough to support the series on their own and will likely tire out quickly.  Actually, I thought the fanservice was somewhat lacking from my initial projections so I wonder if Lagrange plans to survive without it.  I did find the animation to be better than anticipated and this is some of the best work I’ve seen from XEBEC.  The soundtrack turned out to be my favorite part of the first episode and Madoka is a suitable character to be a lead in an anime of this caliber.  But that’s it.  The anime did enough to warrant another episode but it needs to make strides in several essential areas in order to beat out the remaining anime. Edit: I updated the screenshots with the 720p version.  If you want to see the difference in quality between the webrip version (the one I watched), then here they are.  Now that I’ve seen it in 720p, the anime has really impressive art and animation and I almost wish I never watched the webrip version.  Oh well, it still gets another episode.

Dropped:

High School DxD – Well, that was tough to endure.  I usually don’t find too many series structures that irritate me but this anime seems to have found my weak spot.  The entire male cast is unyieldingly perverted dipshits who can’t seem to do anything besides talk about girls or boobs or whatever.  Literally, that’s all they do the entire episode.  Holy shit was that painful.  The overtly sexualized female cast isn’t much better but their only purpose for being on screen is either to strip, have their breasts defy even jiggle physics, flash their panties, or lick phallus-shaped popsicles.  Anything under that level of fanservice and they’re irrelevant. You can now begin to comprehend the horrendous mess that is this unfortunate excuse for otaku fap material.  Furthermore, everything feels like rehashed material with the cast and plot showing zero evidence of originality throughout.  On the plus side, the anime is uncensored, so there aren’t constant beams of light blocking entire shots of boobs or panties but that doesn’t mean the anime is any more watchable because of it.  The art and animation are decent, so they got that right, too.  It leads me to believe that most of the people that watch this will only be watching for the jiggling breasts, assortment of panties, and nude females and nothing else but even then there are better anime out there if you’re looking for these types of things.  This one is just all-around bad.

Also watched Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki and Recorder and Randsell, both 3 minute comedy anime, and will probably keep both as well.  Neither are impressive nor groundbreaking nor anything remotely special but for 3 minutes a pop, why not?  It’s giving the same amount of time to them as I just did to High School DxD so it’s only fair.

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  1. #1 by Detetiv on January 6, 2012 - 9:35 AM

    I’m lookin at the gifs for Kill Me baby. The scene where the high school girl puts her hand on the ninja’s shoulder & the ninja breaks her arm looks very out of place with the rest. Did you see the Kyuubey?

    • #2 by avvesione on January 6, 2012 - 7:24 PM

      Nah, must’ve missed the Kyubey in Kill Me Baby. But that gives me an excuse to rewatch the episode again! Do you have a link to the gifs because I’m not exactly certain what scenes you’re talking about.

      • #3 by Detetiv on January 6, 2012 - 7:51 PM

        Kyuubey: http://bit.ly/w2h4St [Not gif but has txt that I think was in the scene]
        http://bit.ly/zBl3ge [Gif version]

        I was talking about this scene with the break your arm part: http://bit.ly/xtlzMb

        I was checking out the “Kill Me Baby” tag on tumblr. For anime’s people like to gif stuff -> http://bit.ly/Amrgl7

        Why does the HS girl speak German at the prologe… That part really made no sense… Couldn’t she had just said “good morning” instead of “Guten Morgen”

        • #4 by avvesione on January 6, 2012 - 9:46 PM

          Thanks for the links and yeah, I saw the Kyubey but thought it was a ghost since they were talking about them in the scene before.

          Also, I think she speaks German because she’s random and energetic like that. I speak German like that randomly sometimes, too, since it’s fun and different.

  2. #5 by Soji on January 6, 2012 - 10:34 AM

    You know I was really suprise from Kill Me Baby I was sure I would have dropped him and I would continued to watch High School DxD .But like you I end to like Kill Me baby(which is odd because I do not like the 4 koma style, at least for anime).High School DxD so I was disappointed for (more or less) the same reasons as you , it seems that both anime and manga can not be interessing like the light novel is .For Rinne no Lagrange I think I will expect to watch a few more episode before giving a comment and choice if drop it or not. I just hope the next episodes show something more, because for some reason I am drawn to this anime and I would hate to drop it like High School DxD .Now I expect to watch Aquarion Evol this Sunday and I hope it’s a worthy successor to the first series.

    • #6 by avvesione on January 6, 2012 - 7:29 PM

      None of these anime are surprises for me and they all placed where I predicted they would back in early December. I have a weakness for comedies and I find the chibi art style in Kill Me Baby irresistible so it’s a no brainer I’m watching it. Rinne no Lagrange was slightly better than I expected but it didn’t wow me with any of its elements but it might do decently depending on the next episode. The story and the characters are what will make or break it for me. High School DxD was much worse than I expected. Didn’t enjoy any aspect of the first episode which is pretty rare since I usually can say something nice about the anime I drop but this one does not match with me on any level. In fact, my original version of that review was a lot harsher, so I toned it down before finalizing this post.

  3. #7 by Joojoobees on January 7, 2012 - 4:16 AM

    So far I haven’t seen anything that I would bother picking up this season. On your list the only thing I haven’t seen is PoyoPoyo, and I also saw New Prince of Tennis and Symphogear.

    Kill Me was not my cup of tea. I thought the jokes were weak (in part, because, as you mentioned, the 4-koma structure was so apparent that it seemed like listening to someone who keeps saying, “and this is the funny part,”).

    • #8 by avvesione on January 7, 2012 - 6:38 PM

      Yeah, Kill Me Baby is a pretty hit-or-miss comedy in my eyes and it hit enough for me to keep it. Then again, I virtually keep most comedies I watch, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m watching it. I do have problems with the anime in general but I usually overlook them if I can tolerate the show and laugh when the jokes are worthy.

      Also, Symphogear’s review is already written and will be up in Part 2 probably later today or tomorrow.

      • #9 by Detetiv on January 7, 2012 - 7:55 PM

        Just finished KMB, reminds me of a carbon copy of Helitalia in terms of layout/structure. I never did get Helitalia jokes so I didn’t get these.

        • #10 by avvesione on January 7, 2012 - 9:09 PM

          That’s too bad. I saw your tweet on it and figure you’ll drop it between now and the second episode. It’s not that great of an anime but it’s the kind of anime that I love more than anyone else. Oh well, at least you tried it.

  4. #11 by Tzaphqiel on January 7, 2012 - 6:39 PM

    Unfortunately (or, fortunately, in the case of “High School DxD”), I don’t think I’ll be able to see the three shows you detailed just yet (though I would gladly watch “Kill Me Baby” if I could find a legal streaming of it).
    I have, however, seen the first episodes of both “PoyoPoyo Kansatsu Nikki” and “Recorder and Randsell”, and am glad to hear that you are willing to give them a go.
    I look forward to hearing your opinions on the other series that you are watching this season.

    • #12 by avvesione on January 7, 2012 - 9:11 PM

      For 3 minutes a go, why not? It’s shorter than most of the youtube videos I watch and I got a couple laughs out of each. Figured they might be worth it although Poyopoyo is far superior to Recorder imo.

      Going to try to get another post up tonight with some of the new anime that premiered today.

      • #13 by Tzaphqiel on January 7, 2012 - 9:18 PM

        Yeah, I liked Poyopoyo better as well. Hopefully Recorder will get better after that awkward first episode.

  5. #14 by Detetiv on January 8, 2012 - 4:15 AM

    Yeah, still haven’t watched Symphogear yet cause a new episode of Gokaiger & Fourze is out though had to wait 2 weeks, but I did find a pv for it sometime last week I came across it on YouTube. Reminds me of Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel, the OVA I think [Had to look up the title] not sure if that’s good or not cause I couldn’t get into the anime version. Way to much “why am I watching this, it’s not as good as the ova?”.

    • #15 by avvesione on January 8, 2012 - 1:06 PM

      Guess you’ll find out if it’s worthwhile or not when you watch it. I’m gonna have my impressions on Symphogear up later today since I didn’t get it up last night.

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